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Victims of student who falsely accused them of rape speak out at her sentencing

‘I lost my scholarship, my dream of continuing to play football and now I am in debt $30,000’

Nikki Yovino is getting a year in prison, as expected, for falsely reporting that she was raped by two football players at Sacred Heart University.

At her sentencing Thursday morning, Yovino also had to face one of the male students she falsely accused.

Connecticut Post reports that Malik St. Hilaire outed himself after a year and a half of avoiding media attention, because he “wanted to finally confront Yovino for what she had done to him”:

“I went from being a college student to sitting at home being expelled with no way to clear my name,” St. Hilaire told the judge, as Yovino smirked just a few feet away. [The reporter also observed her “rolling her eyes” as he delivered his victim-impact statement.] “I just hope she knows what she has done to me, my life will never be the same. I did nothing wrong, but everything has been altered because of this.”

St. Hilaire’s lawyer Frank Riccio read a second victim-impact statement from the other male student that Yovino accused. He is not identifying himself:

The roller coaster of emotions; fear, anger, sadness, embarrassment, depression, anxiety and the list goes on. She accused me of what I believe to be a horrendous, horrific crime out of her own selfish concerns. I lost my scholarship, my dream of continuing to play football and now I am in debt $30,000 and I’m simply trying to get ahead as best as I can.

Yovino’s three-year sentence is actually just one year in prison followed by probation. Having served three months in prison already, she’ll likely be eligible for release after another three, according to the Post.

Superior Court Judge William Holden told Yovino that he hopes “you spend the time reflecting on what you did.”

Yovino accepted a plea deal to serve a year in prison on the verge of a jury trial in June that could have locked her up for six years for false reporting and evidence tampering. The case was notable because the prosecutors and the original judge, Maureen Dennis, were all women.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Tatiana Messina told Judge Holden that Yovino has harmed “true victims of sexual assault,” who are “often disbelieved” because of falsehoods like hers. The impact on the young men she accused “was not something that could have been ignored,” either.

Yovino had accused St. Hilaire and the other male student of taking turns raping her in a bathroom at a party. Witnesses later told police the sex was consensual, and Yovino admitted that she invented the rape to draw sympathy from a “potential boyfriend.”

Had Yovino reported the incident to Sacred Heart administrators rather than police, the male students – both punished by the university after they were charged – would have likely been branded as rapists for the rest of their lives.

Read the article.

MORE: Yovino takes one-year plea deal to avoid possible six-year sentence

IMAGE: Bridgeport Police Department

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” He co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon at Seattle Pacific University.

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